Bulgaria's High-Profile Mafia Case to Be Retried on Appeal

Crime | October 19, 2011, Wednesday // 13:10|  views

The Marguin Brothers case has been dragging on for nearly five years already and has been postponed on several occasions (Nikolay is on the left while Krasimir is on the right). Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Supreme Court of Cassations returned Wednesday the case against alleged mobsters Krasimir and Nikolay Marinovi aka The Marguin Brother to the Sofia Court of Appeals.

The magistrates from the lower instance are asked to reexamine the case to possibly lead to guilty verdicts for the brothers. The outcome of this long-dragging, high-profile organized crime trail is to become clear by the end of the year.

The decision of the Supreme Court came on the request of the Supreme Prosecutor's Office of Cassations.

On June 14, 2010, the Sofia City Court issued a non-guilty verdict for the Marguins, who were charged with plotting murders.

The Court also changed Krasimir Marinov's bail to recognizance and lifted the European search warrant for Nikolay Marinov, who disappeared right after the January 2010 murder of controversial radio host, Bobi Tsankov.

The rule came in the aftermath of the prosecutor asking for a record-high verdict – 22 years behind bars for all 6 defendants, who are charged with plotting 3 murders.

Krasimir Marinov aka the Big Marguin pleaded not guilty while Nikolay Marinov, the Little Marguin, was tried in his absence.

The Marguin brothers are reputed to be some of the biggest mafia bosses in Bulgaria. They are also publicly known as being among the leaders of the SIC corporation - allegedly one of Bulgaria's two powerful mafia structures in the 1990s.

The SIC group appeared in the mid-90s as the rival of the first large-scale mafia structure in Bulgaria after 1989, called VIS. In the late-90s and the first years after 2000, VIS and SIC were oftentimes at war, and many of the gangland killings in Bulgaria are attributed to this conflict. After 2000, the two major mafia groups in Bulgaria are believed to have been transformed into other smaller-scale entities and legal businesses.

The Marguin Brothers were charged with organizing a criminal group and plotting the murders of Nikola Damyanov, and Ivan Todorov aka The Doctor (a large-scale mafia boss specialized at international cigarettes contraband), and of General Lyuben Gotsev (who survived the attempt on his life).

The case has been dragging on for nearly six years already and has been postponed on several occasions over the ailing health of one of the defendants.

Over the course of the trial, the magistrates heard numerous testimonies, including of two of the three alleged victims, but of the entire line of witnesses only one talked about some possible connection between the brothers and the murder plots.

After the verdict, the Sofia City Prosecutor, Nikolay Kokinov, and his Deputy, Roman Vassilev, announced their decision to appeal.

Bulgaria's Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, blamed, once again, the judicial system for the acquittal of alleged crime bosses.

At the end of July, the Court released its motives for the June 2010 acquittal of the two notorious brothers. They all revolved over the lack of solid evidence.

The Sofia Court of Appeals confirmed the not-guilty verdicts for the notorious brothers.

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Tags: Sofia Appellate Court, Marguin, Sofia Court of Appeals, Ivan Todorov aka the Doctor, assassination, organized crime, VIS, SIC, Sofia City Court, Krasimir, Marinovi, nikolay, Marinov, Kokinov, Brothers, Supreme Court of Cassations, Supreme Prosecutor's Office of Cassations

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